Honey-marooned in Fiji: South Pacific "I Dos"

The wedding (and the chaos preceding it) is the public celebration of a couple's union. The band, the booze, and the horde of friends and family are all great—and just as great to get away from. And that's where the honeymoon comes into play; it's the time when the recently betrothed can settle into their new reality in private. Isolation and adventure are two perfect ingredients for such reinvention—and the South Pacific archipelago of Fiji is perhaps the best place to find the former without sacrificing the latter.
With over 322 islands large enough to inhabit (plus literally anothe 1,500 smaller atolls) divided into eight groups, deciding where to go is the most essential and decidedly difficult part. Active-minded honeymooners should choose their island by sport. Vanua Levu, Taveuni, and the smaller islands to the north have the least-traveled beaches and some of the world's best snorkeling and diving, particularly along the northerly "soft coral capital of the world". Experienced divers can also opt for a live-aboard outing, cruising the waves to the most remote and spectacular diving in the archipelago (most live-aboards also offer non-diving activities). Saltwater-fishing enthusiasts, meanwhile, should head to the horseshoe-shaped island of Matagi, while surfers should target Tavarua's 15-foot tubes. Or, book the luxury cabin in a weeklong adventure cruise to explore the full geographical diversity of Fiji's many islands.
Fiji's western islands, just a short catamaran trip from the airport in Nadi, do attract their fair share of luxury cruises, but you can balance mainstream attractions like jet skiing, parasailing, and fishing with daytrips to secluded coral atolls.
But if you and your betrothed are more enticed by the decadent art of sand-combing, then head for the magically named island of Namenalala. A short 25-mile boat ride from Savusavu, Namenalala's five pristine beaches easily offer a full week of ocean-side laziness—and the 19-mile barrier reef and a serpentine maze of hiking trails throughout the jungle are readily accessible should you want to leave your towel for a few hours.
For those who long to tie the knot under a canopy of palm trees instead of a church's eaves, Fiji makes for the best in nuptial-tropical bliss. Whether you long for a traditional ceremony or a Polynesian-style affair, regional outfitters will take care of all the details and leave you to vanquish any cold-feet concerns under the steady warmth of the South Pacific sun. As for where you go after the chime of the wedding bells stops…well, you've still got another 300-some islands from which to choose.

Published: 28 Jan 2003 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication



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